Reducing excessive imaging in the emergency room can save millions, per CQI study

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A new study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that Michigan hospitals could avoid more than $3.8 million annually simply by reducing the amount of low-value imaging tests performed in the emergency room.

For the study, physicians examined data from more than 1 million emergency visits from 16 Michigan hospitals. The data is collected as part of the Michigan Emergency Department Improvement Collaborative, one of the Collaborative Quality Initiatives funded and formed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The study team found much of the imaging that was performed could have been avoided. For example, the team found potential to avoid 1,519 head CT scans for minor head injury, 3,308 chest X-rays for children with asthma, bronchiolitis or croup, and 4,254 CT scans for suspected pulmonary embolism.